Tuesday, May 10, 2016

An active social life associated with well-being in life


Public Release: 8-Mar-2016
An active social life associated with well-being in life
Social participation and social goals even in the face of health decrements may ease well-being decline late in life, study says
American Psychological Association

taying active socially despite health-related challenges appears to help lessen the decline in well-being people often experience late in life, according to research published by the American Psychological Association.

"Our results indicate that living a socially active life and prioritizing social goals are associated with higher late-life satisfaction and less severe declines toward the end of life," said study lead author Denis Gerstorf, PhD, of Humboldt University. The research was published in the journal Psychology and Aging.


In this study, the researchers compared well-being (as measured by answers on a scale of 0 to 10 to the question, "How satisfied are you with your life concurrently, all things considered?"), participation in social activities, social goals (how important they found participating in social or political activities) and family goals (how much they valued their marriage or relationships with their children) during the last few years in life.

The research team, including scholars from Arizona State University, Cornell University, Pennsylvania State University, and the University of British Columbia, found that being socially active and having social goals were associated with higher well-being late in life, but family goals were not. This association was independent of other relevant variables including age at death, gender, education as well as key health indicators (e.g., disability, hospital stays).

One particularly intriguing observation was that while low social participation and lack of social goals independently were associated with lower levels of well-being, when combined they each magnified the other's effect.


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